Sunday, 26 August 2012

My morning coffee: Kaffeladen

I love my neighbourhood. I can cycle downtown (ie Kongens Nytorv) in 10 minutes for everything I need but I never need anything because everything I need is on my doorstep! Besides busy Østerbrogade, I also have the wonderful Nordre Frihavnsgade and all it has to offer, whether that's the multiple second hand clothing stores, Pif Paf Puf, the Aladdin's cave of a toy shop, Peter Bier chocolates, any one of the little boutiques and, of course, the coffee shops and bakeries.

Perhaps the thing I like most about Nordre Frihavnsgade is the likelihood that I will bump into somebody I know. It's great to live in a foreign city and to pop out to the shops and see a familiar face. This happened to me twice this morning as I made my way to my morning coffee spot. As my bike rattled with the cans and bottles I was taking for recycling, I was greeted with not one but two friendly hellos: the lovely American lady who married a Dane and moved here with her family some years back and the Belgian guy (son of the Belgian ambassador, it turns out) that we met with his daughter at the beach at the weekend. What a great capital city it is when you can meet someone on Saturday and bump into them again on Monday!

If it was a morning for being reminded about the 'neighbourly' feeling of my 'neighbourhood' then where better to have coffee than the little place called 'Kaffeladen' that sits at the east end of Nordre Frihavnsgade. I wouldn't normally pass this far to the end of the street but we had cycled by on Sunday and I made a mental note to check it out.

It's small, quiet, comfortable and all that a neighbourhood coffee shop should be: low lighting, cosy seating, gentle music, a tempting display of home baked goods (the cheesecakes looked to be very popular) and handwritten signs asking visitors to stay a bit longer! There are even toys out for younger clientele - this is Østerbro after all.

If I had to sum up the atmosphere, I'd have to use the h-word. Yes, this is definitely a hygge coffee spot that boasts the best Lattes in town! Well, I think I was won over to the neighbourly character of Kaffeladen by the dozens and dozens of cards pinned to corkboards mounted on the walls. These were the loyalty cards of the regulars, each one bearing a name and the promise that after 9 stamps, the 10th cup of coffee would be free. Arranged in alphabetical order, I thought that this was the ultimate accolade a small independent coffee shop could boast - the loyalty and trust of its regular coffee drinkers. My only gripe was that the cappuccinos only came in one size and it was small : ( Maybe next time I'll linger long enough for a second cup.

Cost: a single shot cappuccino cost 27 DKK
Coffee hygge factor: 4 out of 5

There's no website for Kaffeladen, so you have to pop down to Nordre Frihavnsgade 76 and experience it for yourself.

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